The PS4, Xbox One and Wii U have all been on shelves for a while now, and the consoles of older gen are finally being put to rest. With support dwindling down ever lower, we're here to tell you just what made some of our favourites of the last gen so enjoyable.
Most of my last gen gaming was on the 360, though that's not to say I didn't own all the machines I could. The vast majority of my time was spent blowing shit up in Battlefield 3, but that's not the title I had in mind with this. The game I loved the most was actually a music game in the form of Rock Band.
I've been aboard this plastic instrument train ever since Guitar Hero came out waaaay back on the PS2 and when the sequel hit I bought that twice over, one on PS2 and the second on 360 with yet another plastic guitar. After Harmonix sold the Guitar Hero franchise to Activision, they then created Rock Band, and that's when my interest sky-rocketed. With the addition of bass, drums, microphones and even a keyboard, you really could have a good jam session with friends, even if you're only playing covers of songs and just tapping buttons in time with the song.
|Goodbye Guitar Hero, hello Rock Band|
Aside from the huge abundance of music already on offer, there was a lot of customisation you could do with your in-game band members. You could purchase outfits, custom designing your own instruments and so on. Now, being an emo kid myself, I named my band "Tears that Fall in February", which I stole from a book I read. This band stayed with me across the 3 main titles.
There's been many a title in the Rock Band series - The 3 main games, 2 spin-off's in the forms of "Legendary Band", The Beatles Rock Band and another which focused solely on Green Day. This in addition to the Lego game as well, ended with over 4000 downloadable songs. Harmonix then moved on to do probably the best 360 Kinect game there was - Dance Central.
With Rock Band 4's announcement, I'm now once again ready and fully pumped to start slapping some buttons on a dumb plastic toy instrument for another few hundred hours...either that or I should just go and learn to play a real guitar.
There were quite a few heavy hitters during the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii era, some of which have made more than just a tiny impact on the gaming industry. If anything, the one company that seemingly made THE big impression on me was Naughty Dog and their debut of the Uncharted series for the PlayStation 3.
For those of you who've been living under a rock for the past eight years or so. Uncharted is an Action/Adventure title where we have our Indiana Jones-like hero, Nathan Drake; A Treasure Hunter/Thief who dons the appearance of a generic man when he's not fuelled with determination and courage to jump into seemingly impossible situations, always coming out as the victor.
Another Action/Adventure game? Big whoop right? Well it would have been if it wasn't for Naughty Dog's uncanny ability to make each iteration of the series even better than the last. So far, as it stands today, there have been 3 Uncharted games released on the PlayStation 3, one for the PlayStation Vita and one soon to be hitting our screens on the PlayStation 4. The first game managed to condense the gameplay and keep it on a singular island, allowing for a more focused and concentrated story. When Naughty Dog made the jump from one island to an around the world setting in the first sequel, I believe it was at that moment when they solidified the series as one of the best game series of all time. The third further improved on this through the mechanics, character models and lighting, allowing for the surrounding world to come to life on an even grander scale.
|He just keeps hanging onto those sales.|
As mentioned earlier, a fourth game has been announced to be in the works for the PlayStation 4 and looking back at what Naughty Dog was able to accomplish on the PlayStation 3 during its run. I can't wait to be blown away once more.
Last gen will always have a special place in my heart, as we saw the beginning of so many excellent franchises. Uncharted, Mass Effect, Portal, Batman: Arkham and while all of those series featured some of my favourite titles of the generation, there is one game I want to talk about which (funnily enough) only ever had one entry.
If there was one thing I was looking forward to when I got my first Xbox 360 back in 2007, it was playing a next generation JRPG. I'd been clamoring for an experience similar to that of past Final Fantasy's, however I knew that Final Fantasy XIII was still years away anyway (and look how that turned out). I tried out Blue Dragon and Enchanted Arms, both of which were solid in their own right, yet neither one proved to be the GREAT JRPG I had been waiting for...then I came across Lost Odyssey.
|Yea? You and who's army?|
Lost Odyssey may never get a sequel, and that's actually okay because the original will always be an incredibly special game...at least to me.
I can just about get away with this one, but my all time favourite game is the original Devil May Cry and I'm sure those of you who read our content regularly will likely already be aware of this, but I just can't ever seem to give this game enough praise.
Sure, it was originally released on the PS2 back in 2001, but the HD Remastered version of it (re-released on the PS3) breathed life back into the old dog once more, proving that even with a texture re-skin, the title still holds up well by today's standards.
For me though, it wasn't just the gameplay that hooked me. It was everything about the title that I just fell in love with. The architecture, the level design, the character and enemy design, the haunting yet rocky, trashy electro music, the precision based combat, the ridiculous learning curve and the way certain bosses literally pursued you throughout the game.
On your first run you could never really quite tell what was going to happen next and in a game where even the most basic enemies could kill an inexperienced player with ease, the atmosphere and suspense kept you on your toes at all times. Afterall, this started life as an alternate Resident Evil product, only later becoming the fast paced action title it's known as today. Though, this saddens me slightly, as I absolutely loved the Gothic horror setting and a lot of the best elements just didn't carry on into future titles, which is what makes the original my one true "digital soul mate".
As it stands, I'm halfway through the game on Dante Must Die mode. I'm stuck at the second fight with "Griffon", trying to dodge his ridiculous lightning attacks and survive (as I have done so far) without using any curatives or items whatsoever. It's an incredibly tough game and one that compels me to challenge myself even further.
The first sequel (originally made as a promotional video for Diesel) was not so great. There are only three games in the canonical DMC universe - DMC3, 1 and 4. DMC3 placed you in the biker boots of a rougher, cockier, teen-aged Dante and gave us more of an idea as to who he was as a person. The events of DMC3 gave reason to Dante's love/hate relationship with his twin brother Vergil, introducing several new characters to the series as well. This game too was thoroughly enjoyable and although the combat was far superior to that of the original, there's just something about the original that I personally feel can never be bettered.
|Dante resting until his next debut.|
I know I wasn't the only one to go through a very long phase of wanting to be somebody else and I know for sure I won't be the last, but Devil May Cry had a lot of meaning in my life during harder times, and is responsible somewhat for who I am today and because of this, I hope gamers around the world can find something special within their favourite forms of media, and use that to further their progress in achieving their view of their ideal selves.
Got any life stories or favourite titles you'd like to share? Perhaps what you played had a big impact on your life? Whatever the case, let us know in the comments below or tweet me - @ChaosRiotZero
Follow and Like us at: